Analysis of contractions in system graphs: Application to state estimation

Mohammadreza Doostmohammadian*, Themistoklis Charalambous, Miadreza Shafie-khah, Hamid R. Rabiee, Usman A. Khan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


Observability and estimation are closely tied to the system structure, which can be visualized as a system graph-a graph that captures the inter-dependencies within the state variables. For example, in social system graphs such inter-dependencies represent the social interactions of different individuals. It was recently shown that contractions, a key concept from graph theory, in the system graph are critical to system observability, as (at least) one state measurement in every contraction is necessary for observability. Thus, the size and number of contractions are critical in recovering for loss of observability. In this paper, the correlation between the average-size/number of contractions and the global clustering coefficient (GCC) of the system graph is studied. Our empirical results show that estimating systems with high GCC requires fewer measurements, and in case of measurement failure, there are fewer possible options to find substitute measurement that recovers the system's observability. This is significant as by tuning the GCC, we can improve the observability properties of large-scale engineered networks, such as social networks and smart grid.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IEEE International Conference on Autonomous Systems, ICAS 2021
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-7289-7
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2021
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIEEE International Conference on Autonomous Systems - Virtual, online, Montreal, Canada
Duration: 11 Aug 202113 Aug 2021


ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Autonomous Systems
Abbreviated titleICAS
Internet address


  • Clustering coefficient
  • Contraction
  • Estimation
  • Structural observability
  • System graph


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